Episode 245 - Dr. Ricky Greenwald: Progressive Counting, the Fairy Tale Model, and Intensive Trauma-Focused Therapy

Monday, August 13, 2018, 8:17:48 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Ricky Greenwald, a pioneer of trauma treatments for children, describes the arc of his learning and development of practical and replicable approaches to the treatment of trauma. He references EMDR, Progressive Counting, and the Fairy Tale Model as he describes what needs to happen in treatment and how to achieve positive outcomes.

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Average Rating: 4.6 stars (8 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  inspiring and insightful, Monday, February 08, 2021

By Tiana :

I chose to listen to this podcast because I am very interested in trauma work, and have worked with clients dealing with substance abuse, but did not have any knowledge on specific trauma treatment such as EMDR. Dr. Ricky Greenwald represented an insightful and inspiring introduction into trauma work. Dr. Greenwald presents trauma work in a digestible, understandable way that promotes success in learning and using trauma-based therapy techniques. He defines the largest part of trauma work as “memory reconsolidation,” describing the process of addressing “frozen” trauma memories and reexperiencing and working with these memories from a trusting and safe space. I appreciate the emphasis of collaboration in Dr. Greenwald’s “Fairy Tale Model” as he discusses that it is not only a model for practitioner guidance, but for client goal setting, pacing, and motivation. His discussion on “Progressive Counting” was very interesting to me as it reflects the simple basis of trauma therapy, of re experiencing traumatic memories in a safe place with a safe support. The success of a practitioner counting out loud to an agreed upon number while the client reexperiences triggering memories promoting positive growth serves as a reminder of the importance of trust within a therapeutic relationship. This method reminds me that simplicity in treatment leads to success while encompassing a positive therapeutic relationship.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a fantastic conversation of current trauma focused therapies, Sunday, February 07, 2021

By Christopher :

Dr. Greenwald’s deep dive into trauma recovery in this episode was fascinating. He breaks down the idea of processing traumatic events into bite sized, easy to understand pieces. Starting with memory reconsolidation, he discuses the importance of ensuring the even is reactivated safely so that it can be better processed and healed into an event that is secured in the past and unable to cause functional problems. While I had heard of progressive counting and the fairy tale model, the idea of intensive trauma-focused therapy was new to me. His comparison of therapy to taking your vehicle to the mechanic helped really stress the significance that this newer idea of treatment can have. Often it might not be the counseling sessions themselves, but the individual navigating life in between sessions until they reach a point where they no longer need counseling. This model would shorten a lot of these time periods and would benefit the individual greatly. He also covers the importance of the client being well enough to do the work. This piece isn’t always discussed but plays a critical role in an individual’s path of recovery. Susan Green does a fantastic job facilitating the conversation and contributing her own thoughts.

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Average Rating: 5stars  trauma treatments, Friday, February 07, 2020

By Brianna :

Dr. Greenwald is a wealth of information. There was so much information given in this 30 minute podcast, that I wish it was longer in order to go more in depth into the multiple interventions Dr. Greenwald discusses. I am personally very interested in specializing in working with children who have experienced trauma. I have some experience in Trauma Focused CBT and EMDR through my field placement, so I was interested to learn more. This podcast allowed me to learn more about trauma and evidence-based practices that help clients who have experienced trauma. I appreciated that Dr. Greenwald explained that the main thing needed for someone to recover from trauma is memory consolidation. This consists of taking a fractured traumatic memory, activating it, and then making it digestible so that the individual can heal from it. He then goes to explains the different interventions that can be used to help a client with memory consolidation such as trauma focused CBT, EMDR and progressive counting. Understanding how these interventions progressed and continue to progress to make memory consolidation more efficient and better tolerated was interesting. I appreciate how open Dr. Greenwald is to continuously learn about, test and teach new methods to train individuals to be good trauma therapists and use methods that work best for their individual clients. Dr. Greenwald has made me excited to learn more about the Fairy Tale Model, Progressive Counting and Trauma Focused Intensive Therapy. I would be very interested in further podcasts interviewing Dr. Greenwald that go more in depth into the various interventions he discusses. I look forward to further researching the interventions discussed in this podcast and to see how the field of trauma therapy continues to progress.

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Average Rating: 5stars  excellent resource for trauma focused treatment, Friday, February 08, 2019

By Desiree Polanish :

An excellent interview with a captivating and well-versed trauma focused expert. Greenwald’s enthusiasm and genuine dedication to the education of social workers in trauma centered therapy is evident throughout and serves to create interest in the models he presents. His discussion provides context for his model, the Fairy Tale Model, as well as a tool he calls the GPS. He makes good use of relatable analogies, for example, when he compares getting a car serviced to the use of trauma treatment.
Sue Green brings to light an important factor that undoubtedly plays a role in Greenwald’s success when she points out that it seems he is always looking for the next development in trauma treatment. Despite having developed a model with evidence to support its effectiveness, he is continuously exploring new methods that may improve the way clinicians address trauma in both children and adults. Greenwald’s work embodies what it means to provide contribution, not only to the individuals and group you serve, but to the field itself.
The interview closes with Greenwald sharing incredibly valuable advice to people entering the field of social work. Even if trauma centered treatment somehow doesn’t pique your interest, Greenwald’s energy and words of wisdom make this interview worth a listen!

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Average Rating: 4stars  interesting ideas!, Friday, February 08, 2019

By Taylor Jaramillo :

I enjoyed listening to this podcast and hearing about how Dr. Greenwald formulated the ideas for the Fairytale Model, as well as Progressive Counting. The thing that struck me most about this podcast was the innovation that Dr. Greenwald brings to his practice and approach to trauma. As he mentioned, many practitioners who develop models or evidence-based treatments stick to that particular treatment. However. Dr. Greenwald has developed several new evidence-based treatments and models for trauma, which is remarkable. As a student, I realize that this ability develops only after years of practice, and becoming expert in many different treatments. In learning EMDR, working with children, and working in other phase-stage trauma treatments, Dr. Greenwald was able to combine these concepts to develop his own methods. I imagine that after years of practice, a clinician establishes their own approaches and methods that work best for them as well. That is encouraging to consider as a "green" social worker. As for the intensive trauma treatment, I wasn't sure what to think about this. I feel like it would be difficult to establish trust and safety with trauma clients within that short period of time, however, it is a very interesting approach! Thanks for the share!

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Average Rating: 5stars  discovering new ideas for ptsd, Wednesday, February 06, 2019

By Kandis LeBaron :

Dr. Ricky Greenwald has a remarkable insight into the need for practical treatment for trauma. As a graduate student with an understanding of the life-consuming hours that go into every word and research part of a paper, hearing him tell of ditching his dissertation to follow what he wanted to do was mind-blowing while simultaneously creating enormous respect for his dedication. It was amazing to listen to him explain how his thirst for knowledge in the field led to connecting several frameworks and developing one of the most successful treatments for childhood and adult PTSD. Also interesting was how his excitement and passion for trying new things led him to inadvertently tweaking Progressive Counting into an even more efficient method. However, it was his telling of the longing to spend more time at home with his family that has brought him to his latest discovery, Intensive therapy, that was the reminder of how letting life lead, will often bring us to where we need to be. Dr. Greenwald seems to present a desire to find a treatment that has a high return and convenience in training along with mindfulness care for the client’s need for less aggressive modalities in trauma treatment. This presence comes together with force like a whirlwind that draws in clinicians who share common desires and want to join his journey. This podcast has left me wanting to learn more and ready to dive into Dr. Greenwald’s research.

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Average Rating: 4stars  a reminder of the importance of critical thinking, Wednesday, February 06, 2019

By Lauren Markos :

As someone interested in trauma-centered therapies, I found listening to Dr. Greenwald discuss EMDR, the Fairy Tale Model and Progressive Counting engaging. What I found most impactful about the interview, however, was the fact that Dr. Greenwald's ideas went beyond a discussion of trauma-centered therapy and reminded me about the importance of ongoing critical thinking for successful social work practice.

Dr. Greenwald's emphasis on the need for ongoing curiosity and flexibility related to treatment modalities was particularly striking in this vein. I think it is easy to become overly focused on certain techniques and fall into the trap of committing to one fixed ‘way' of practicing. Dr. Greenwald's professional journey as described in the interview serves as a reminder that we need to remain open to the many pathways to wellness that exist for our clients rather than insisting that there is only one particular direction that leads to good outcomes.

I also found Dr. Greenwald's discussion of intensive therapy to be a striking reminder of the need for ongoing critical thinking when intervening with clients. I realize that while I have focused quite a bit of critical thought on the substance of my interventions, I have thought less about how some aspects of these interventions are structured. The metaphor of changing bad tires at a rate of one per month hit this point home for me. Why do I always book my clients for one-hour sessions once or twice per week? Is it because I think that is the best way to recognize and address privilege and how privilege limits access to care? Or perhaps because I believe this is the best way to alleviate suffering or ameliorate risk? No. I book clients that way because that is how I have been taught or directed to book them. Overall, this episode has reminded me of the importance of applying critical thought to those aspects of practice that are easily overlooked, and to always remain flexible in my approach.

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Average Rating: 4stars  great passion!, Tuesday, February 05, 2019

By Anonymous :

This podcast was intriguing as you listen to Dr. Ricky Greenwald speak about his passion of using EMDR. He speaks about his practicing and training in EMDR, and how it became his passion. He then decided to pursue his passion and start the Trauma Institute as well as the Child Trauma Institute. He came up his idea of training in EMDR that is replicable as to help other therapists better there skills. He aims to make therapists better as well as finding ways to use EMDR for children. His way of teaching EMDR is easily understood and can benefit new therapists that have a desire to learn the intervention. He gives great advice about finding your passion and perusing it, as he is living proof that following your passion has benefits. Very thought provoking podcast! Well done!

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